Lead Generation for Mobile Mechanic
digital marketing, Google Ads, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC

Google Ads for a Mobile Mechanic: First Month Analysis of a PPC Campaign: A Case Study

By Jake Ramer and Diane Lovine

Background and Information Gathering

Diesel on Demand is an ASE-certified mobile mechanic business located in Nevada. Its owner, Corey, found 99 Calls through an online search of lead generation companies.  He offers niche services that required custom content writing and a creative approach to building a Google Ads campaign to generate highly targeted customers. 

Corey explained the heart of his business in this way, “We have experience working on commercial equipment of most models and engines. We offer on-site services at customers’ facilities. This saves time and is more cost-effective than having them drop off equipment and wait in line. We also offer preventative maintenance services for fleet vehicles, such as oil changes.” The ASE certification means he is fully equipped with tools and knowledge to work on a wide range and variety of vehicles. 

Corey’s goal of generating more business for recurring commercial fleet services was a fun challenge for the content writing team at 99 Calls as we originally thought his business was more similar to AAA or another roadside assistance program. We learned that the primary target market for Diesel on Demand was a bit more focused. Corey strives to earn the business of repeat customers for fleet services and serve as an “on-call” diesel engine expert for contracted fleet services. 

Research and Development of the Campaign

After careful research, our Google Ads team discovered that “fleet service” and “commercial vehicle mechanic” are low-search-volume terms. “Diesel mechanic” is a medium/high volume search term as it is a specialty trade and is fairly competitive. “Mobile mechanic” is a high-volume search term that may be used by people who don’t want to pay for a tow truck or by people in search of a unique experience with a roadside mechanic. 

Las Vegas is an ideal location as there are many major trucking companies and a robust market for large commercial vehicles needing fleet services. 

The Ads team chose the keywords most appropriate for the campaign and sent a request for our content team to write unique page sets around the chosen keywords. In this way, the pages written were expected to have high relevance because we wrote the content specifically with the target audience in mind.

Campaign Results

We built the campaign on June 24th of this year and initially also targeted the broader “mobile mechanic” keywords so that Corey could begin to receive calls very quickly. After just a few days, we turned off the keyword group because the calls were not helpful in terms of building the repeat recurring business that Corey was looking for. It is interesting to note that the CPC on “mobile mechanic” clicks was surprisingly low ($6.43 per click) for this small pool of data. 

Given the typical conversion rate of other 99 Calls Google Ads Campaigns, we would expect that the average cost per lead would be well under $30 for mobile mechanics. We’ll use this data to work with mobile mechanic businesses in the future as the ROI on these one-off personal vehicle mobile calls, would likely be favorable.

July Google Ads Performance

Ad Groups: Diesel Services & Commercial Fleet Services 

Budget: $500/Month

Conversion Rate: 24.62%

The total spend for the month was $440, which reflects the very niche market we targeted. The percentage of time that the ad was shown was actually quite high, indicating that we achieved maximum visibility within the market. Very few undesired clicks were recorded, which means that the goal of hitting the highly targeted audience was successful and resulted in generating the desired exclusive leads. 

The Ads team achieved 16 conversions at a conversion rate just under 25%, with an average cost per conversion (CPC) of $27.50. This number represents the CPC after removing the high volume of mobile mechanic conversions and the total price increased just $6.77.

Examples of July Conversions (Leads): 

  • Church Bus Broken
  • Billboard Truck Repair
  • Mercedes Sprinter Diesel Van Repair
  • Moving Box Trucks
  • Diesel Pickup (transport company)
  • Ram Truck Dealership (manager) 
  • Ford Diesel Pickup
  • International (semi) 
  • Food Truck Services

These are just the calls where we can make a clear analysis of the nature of the call. Our team records all calls for verification of the quality of the leads. However, when potential customers don’t leave a detailed message, we are unable to capture the nature of the lead. Corey’s relatively small initial budget yielded at least 16 qualified leads, averaging $27.50 each. Corey was quite pleased with the results from his first month of lead generation services and has made back his initial investment for setup and then some!

We will continue to follow Diesel on Demand (https://diesel-on-demand.com/) and report on Google Ads ROI as well as on the organic lead generation service that we are providing simultaneously. Spoiler alert: Month two lead volume is shaping up to be 50% higher than month one.

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Are You Just Spending, or Investing in Your Business?

Effective Lead Generation is an Investment – Not an Expense

Are you treating lead generation costs or prices per lead as monthly expenses? If so, you haven’t found the right company to partner with!

Does thinking about setting a “marketing budget” make you cringe? Do you immediately imagine your bank account balance going down, down, down? If you see your lead generation budget as a regular monthly expense, you may be wasting a lot of money! Expenses are car payments, electric bills, and internet costs. Good lead generation is an investment. Something that GENERATES revenue for your business, not an expense.

Most lead generation companies charge a flat rate per month and don’t promise anything in return. Yes, that’s probably an expense. But there are a few pay-for-performance companies out there that can prove their value to you month after month. In addition, many companies no longer require contracts, so you are free to take your investment elsewhere if you aren’t seeing the returns you were lead to expect.

If you want my team to just take care of your online marketing click here for a consultation.

Most Lead Generation May Cost You

The budget you set aside each month for online marketing is probably being considered an expense if you are lumping it in with your other costs. When times are tight, you might think your marketing “costs” should be the first to go. Then you trim other costs to save money. If you could generate reliable leads each month that turn into profitable jobs, your lead generation budget would become a necessary investment (and a sound one, at that!) If you are constantly trying to keep your monthly costs low by cutting into your lead generation budget, you are missing out on the potential to turn your service business into a cash cow. When leads become expenses are when they don’t produce measurable results.

Example: Say you have allotted $500 each month for online marketing of your remodeling business. If you hire a lead generation company that charges a flat rate of $500 each month and tells you they will promote your business online, get you onto the first page of Google and get calls coming in, but then doesn’t produce, this would be an expense.

If you hire a different company and they tell you that you’ll only pay for qualified leads that come in and you get to determine what a qualified lead means to you, you won’t be paying an expense, you’ll be investing in those customers who call you for a quote. And the higher your close rate, the more money your business will make from that marketing investment!

Return on Investment is the way businesses measure the net increase or decrease that comes from investing money. Return on investment, or ROI is the amount of revenue you bring in, minus the amount of money you invest to make it. So if you invest $500 in lead generation, and that turns into 6 qualified leads, and you win 4 new jobs, and each job is worth $1000 in profits, Your return on investment is $4000 (profits) – $500 (investment), or $3500. Imagine if you could invest $500 every month and watch it turn into $3500. Now that’s a solid investment!

Online Marketing and Lead Generation as an Investment

Customers use online searches more than any other means to find service businesses they want to hire. If you’re not there, front and center, with a great reason for them to call you for the quote, you probably won’t get called.

Good marketing entices customers to call you for a quote, which results in jobs, which means revenue for your business. When online marketing in the form of lead generation works in this way, it is considered an investment in your business. Even when times are tight, you don’t want to stop investing in good marketing, because it’s probably your best chance to build your revenue stream back up. Instead, start slow and build as you land more jobs. And don’t spend your excess profits. Keep investing in your business and watch it grow.

How to Increase Your Lead Generation ROI

So how can you spend less money per contractor lead? What is the best way to lower online marketing costs? Get seen and called more often and win more sales from your monthly lead budget!

  1. Improve Your Visibility and Get More Calls

The more phone calls and emails you get from your monthly marketing budget, the higher the return on your marketing investment will be.

When you sign on for services for online marketing and lead generation, be sure to find a company with a complete package: Highly optimized lead generation sites that will rank well on Google, Bing, and other search engines and the ability to customize the lead generation site and listings with your unique branding.

As important as getting found is for getting calls, making your business attractive to potential customers is also critical. Entice your customers to pick up and call you by displaying high-quality photos of your work and pictures of yourself or your team on the home page. Offer a special promotion to motivate them to call you rather than your competitors.

For other tips on improving visibility and making waves with an online presence, see this article: https://blog.99calls.com/2021/03/16/maximize-digital-marketing-returns-on-a-small-budget/

  1. Improve Your Close Rate

The higher your close rate, the lower your costs per lead and the more leads you can get for the same monthly investment.

Here are the top 5 things you can do to increase your close rate, and thereby increase your returns:

Always Answer Your Phone: It seems so simple, but we see it all the time. Customers are impatient. They identify a need, search online and call the first contractor they see who looks legit. If that’s you and your phone rings, you are LOSING MONEY every time a call goes to voicemail.

Quick Quote: If you’re able to give a ballpark figure over the phone, go for it. Otherwise, schedule a visit within the next 48 hours to see the job and give a quote. Get in there before your competition.

Professionalism Pays: No, you don’t need to show up in your Sunday best, and actually, arriving in some work clothes lets potential customers know you’re a busy person who other customers already trust. Just change into a clean shirt to change and be prepared with pen and paper to take notes. Listen to what they are asking you to do, and repeat it back so they know you heard it right.

Offer Options: When you offer 2 or even three options for getting the work done, you’ll asking your potential customer not to choose between you and someone else, but between two or three price points from YOU. Offer a budget option, which less expensive materials and less expensive detail, and then one with the best quality. This also lets them know you are versatile and can work with different budgets.

Follow Up: Don’t drop an estimate and run. People appreciate a friendly reminder that you are available to schedule their job. Maybe even give them a discount if they can fill an opening you have in a given month. Persistence pays!

For more information on improving return on investment, learn why combining SEO with pay per click gives contractors the best bang for their buck: https://blog.99calls.com/2020/07/20/benefits-of-combining-seo-lead-generation-with-ppc-advertising/

Summary

If you’re ready to really start growing your service business, start viewing your marketing budget as a smart investment, rather than a monthly expense, then find a quality lead generation team to make your monthly lead generation investment work for you. For more information on getting the most from your online marketing investment, give the team at 99Calls.com a call at 800-717-4669.

Uncategorized

Get Free Leads with Google My Business

Imagine getting free leads forever with just 10 minutes of work.

If your local business does not have a Google My Business listing then you are missing out on any chance of being shown in Google’s Local Pack at the TOP of Google’s search results.

image002

Figure 1: Google My Business Listings are displayed in Local Pack at top of Google search results.

Without a Google My Business listing, you are literally handing your fair share of free leads to your competitors.

Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to get your local business listed with Google My Business.

Click here to get your Google My Business now.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free service that allows business owners to easily list their company with Google and manage information that is presented to the public. GMB listings contain basic business information such as company name, address, phone numbers, website, services, and hours of operation.

Google My Business also provides features to encourage businesses and the public to communicate with one another including:

  • Posting specials and events
  • Asking questions
  • Submitting and displaying reviews
  • Publishing photos and videos
  • Private messaging

GMB information card

Figure 2: Information card resulting from Google My Business listing.

How to Create or Claim Your Google My Business Listing

To start you’ll need a Gmail or Google account. If you have one, log in:

https://accounts.google.com

If you do not have Gmail or a Google account, you can sign up here:

https://accounts.google.com/SignUpWithoutGmail

Once you have a Google account, you can create or claim your GMB listing. Google My Business is constantly changing. For this reason, it is best to follow the current instructions from Google. Click the link below to view Google’s instructions to “Add or claim your business listing”.

https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778?hl=en

When creating or editing your GMB listing, you’ll want to follow Google’s guidelines to avoid complications, such as having your listing suspended. You can find the guidelines here:

https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en

Common problems local businesses encounter when entering or updating company data:

  • Use your full official company name. Do not add “keywords” to your company name. For example, do not change “Johnson’s Painting LLC” to “Johnson’s Painting – Interior & Exterior”. Two reasons:
    • 1) It’s against Google guidelines and if they detect it, your listing will be flagged and removed from search results.
    • 2) Google attempts to match your business to various online and offline data sources to determine its “prominence”. Variation in business name may result in Google assigning less “prominence” to your business and lower rankings.
  • Use an actual physical mailing address. Google does not accept PO boxes as an address. Google also does not accept addresses that are commercial mailing facilities such as UPS Stores or Mail Boxes Etc.
  • Use your local phone number as the primary phone. If you have a toll-free number list it as a secondary number. Reality is people expect local businesses to have local phone numbers. Toll-free numbers are for non-local companies.

Verify Your Google My Business Listing

You must complete verification of your GMB listing. Failure to verify your listing will generally result in your business being removed from Google’s Local Pack. Seriously, why would Google show an unverified business when there are so many verified businesses?

To verify your business Google will usually send a letter, mailer, or postcard to your business address via USPS. The mailer will contain a verification code. When you receive it, simply follow the instructions. Complete the verification process as soon as the letter arrives. The sooner verification is completed, the sooner you’ll start getting valuable leads. Fail to complete the verification process and your business will not be shown to motivated potential customers in the Local Pack.

image008

Figure 3: Contents of Google My Business verification mailer.

Important: If the verification mailer does not arrive within 2 weeks, login into your GMB listing, verify your business address is correct, and request Google to send another mailer by clicking the “I don’t have a code” link circled in red below.

GMB I dont have a code

Figure 4: Google My Business administration page for unverified business.

Learn more about the verification process here:

https://support.google.com/business/answer/7107242?hl=en

or watch the fun video below:

What if my GMB listing is already claimed?

This is a common problem. Many GMB listings have been claimed in the past, generally by former employees or former marketing companies.

In this case, you’ll want to request ownership of the listing. Requesting ownership is easy, though it can take a couple weeks.

Instructions for requesting GMB ownership can be found here:

https://support.google.com/business/answer/4566671?hl=en

Important: Avoid creating more than one GMB listing for any given address and local phone number. Google tries to prevent multiple listings, but if duplicates slip through, Google periodically scans all local listings and flags duplicate listings. Flagged listings are generally marked as inappropriate and removed from search results.

Once you have created, claimed, or re-claimed ownership of your GMB listing, you are ready to put it to use.


The author, Fred Lovine, is president of 99 Calls which specializes in highly cost-effective lead generation for contractors and local service area businesses such as roofers, painters, plumbers, cleaners, electricians, damage restoration, handymen, landscapers, pest control, paving, photographers, and more.